Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ed Boon talks Mortal Kombat for PS Vita

In Nov. 2011, Sony announced that a new Mortal Kombat (MK) title will grace their upcoming handheld, PS Vita.

While details have been scarce, the PlayStation Blog interviewed NetherRealm Studios creative director, Ed Boon to get more information on the MK game originally titled "Vitality." Fans hoping the handheld version would be almost identical to the console versions are in for a treat.

Read what Boon had to say below:

PlayStation Blog: What’s the scope of Mortal Kombat for PS Vita? Does it include all the content from the PS3 game? Ed Boon, Creative Director, Netherrealm Studios: It’s actually everything from the PS3 game: the entire Story Mode and all the downloadable characters and content, plus additional modes and features that are tailored for PS Vita. We really wanted to take advantage of Vita’s hardware.
PSB: How have the graphics transitioned to PS Vita? Did you have to make any major graphical sacrifices from the PS3 version?
EB:It’s interesting. We did have to reduce some of the polygon counts from the backgrounds and characters, but that screen is so bright, and it’s got such high pixel density…when I saw Scorpion and Sub-Zero fighting on the Living Forest for the first time, I was amazed. It really maintains the identity of the game. I can’t wait for people to hold it in their hands and see it for themselves — it’s a surprisingly similar experience
 PSB: What makes a good mobile fighting game? Obviously, playing habits are different in a mobile environment.
EB: The fundamental necessity is quick access to gameplay, whether it’s online or locally. The mobile gaming experience is shorter bites of time. We identified the Challenge Tower as a perfect fit for mobile sessions, so we expanded it greatly for PS Vita. There are actually two Challenge Towers in the PS Vita version, and the new one has 150 challenges that are exclusive to PS Vita. A number of those challenges use PS Vita’s hardware features: the touch screen, the accelerometer…
PSB: So how does a touchscreen come into play in Mortal Kombat?
EB: In terms of gameplay, we’ve always wanted MK to be as accessible as possible. For example, you can touch your X-ray meter to execute an X-ray attack. For fatalities, you can “slash” the screen with the appropriate inputs — say, away, away, up — to execute the fatality. It makes some of the more difficult fatalities easier and it’s fun to slash at your screen to fire off a fatality. I was surprised by how engaging it is.
PSB: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 has a dedicated touchscreen-only mode for more casual players. Are you planning anything along those lines?
EB: We goofed around with ideas like that. It was an interesting novelty at first, but literally everybody who tried it said 'oh, that’s cute' and then went right back to the normal control scheme. There’s a lot of precision with the “slicing” mechanic, though, so it works well for fatalities.